Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

"Doubt" has Saturday night burnoff written all over it.
Time to dip into the Masked Mailbox and answer a few letters.
"Dear Masked Scheduler,
Will we ever see the end of the lemmings running the networks?
You know, the guys who think if one superhero show does well, then 12 of them would be even better?
I'm a TV addict. I grew up with it from the days of black-and-white and only three channels. I have a degree in broadcast production (though never used it). I can still sing the theme song to "My Mother The Car."
But I'm at a point where I rarely watch primetime -- broadcast or cable. I have no interest in superheroes, zombies, gritty crime dramas that give me nightmares, bloody medical dramas which are way too graphic, tired game shows, "reality" shows, retreads of old TV shows that were a lot better back when, or dark shows based on fairytales. That seriously limits my options. Even Food Network has turned into the Food Game Show Network in primetime.
Admittedly, I have fallen over the edge of the 18-49 demo. However, the shows that do very well in total viewers like me don't necessarily do well in the 18-49. That gives the drug companies a place to advertise all those lovely ED, BPH, COPD, RA, and opioid induced constipation commercials. (Thank God for the mute button.)
I guess I'll be happy with my favorites: "Scorpion," "NCIS," "Designated Survivor," "The Catch," "The Librarians," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Place." I'll spend the remainder of my evenings crocheting afghans and petting my cats. That's what 50+ people do, I guess. Oh, and watch reruns and DVDs of "Leverage," "Monk," "Psych," "The X-Files" and "Royal Pains."
Enjoying your column.
Thanks.
PL"
Well PL, as someone who is also outside of the 18-49 demo it seems that there is still plenty of shows for you to watch, and several of those shows with large, broad audiences also do quite well in the 18-49 demo.
CBS has stuck most closely to the big tent theory and they are right there with the other networks in younger viewers.
As I have said before, networks are in the business of reducing the cost of failure, so the natural reaction is to make more of what is working at the moment. A show like "This Is Us" must appeal to people of our age and given its success, look for several emotional family dramas in the pipeline.
Seems like you have enough to watch and if you want to crochet me a mask, much appreciated.
---
Here's another one:
"Love reading your columns during the week; they're a nice addition to the daily ratings (ratings obsessed here). You mentioned 'American Idol' and it got me thinking again about the show and whether FOX made a mistake canceling it. I realize it was probably for financial reasons as much as its dwindling ratings. But as you pointed out, it would've likely done better than the numbers FOX got Thursday night. Do you think FOX should've given 'AI' another season?
BM"
I left FOX just before the decision was made to not renew it. I don't know if it was losing money in its final season but the question for me would be would we lose more money by cancelling it. You need to fill the "Idol" void with over 40 hours of programming, so will those 40 hours make, or lose, more money than another season of "Idol"?
We licensed "Idol," which means we paid Fremantle a fee for every hour and made our money through advertising. If we replaced "Idol" with programming that FOX owned (through the studio) there are ways to offset the delta. These are the questions I would have asked if I was there, and I'm sure they were asked.
There were several creative decisions made over the final years of the show that accelerated the decline, in my opinion.
Have a question? Send them to masked.scheduler@gmail.com
Last night’s schedule was watching KU win its 13th straight Big 12 in season title. Now tied with UCLA. The rest of the night was culture at Cal State Northridge and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Highly recommend their music.
I'm on Twitter @maskedscheduler

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday include series lows for a couple of shows and a second-week decline for a new drama:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.7/7 6.15
Lethal Weapon (FOX) 1.3/5 6.17
Hunted (CBS) 1.2/4 5.09
Blindspot (NBC) 0.8/3 4.12
Arrow (The CW) 0.5/2 1.54
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 1.5/5 5.29
9 p.m. Modern Family (ABC) 2.0/7 6.69
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.3/5 7.16
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.3/5 5.66
Star (FOX) 1.2/4 3.93
The 100 (The CW) 0.4/1 1.00
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) 1.6/6 5.37
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.3/5 6.51
Match Game (ABC) 0.9/3 3.61
Doubt (CBS) 0.6/2 4.01

 

Wednesday night brought series-low ratings for a pair of dramas, a second-week decline for CBS’ “Doubt” and very little positive news.

“Arrow” scored a series low in adults 18-49 with a 0.5 for The CW, down a tenth from last week. The show has already been renewed, so it’s perhaps not a major concern, but low is low. NBC’s “Blindspot” (0.8) tied its low, set last week — that’s the wrong direction for a bubble show to be heading.

CBS’ “Doubt” slipped two tenths of a point from its premiere to a 0.6. “The Goldbergs” (1.7), “Lethal Weapon” (1.3) and “Law & Order: SVU” (1.3) all fell a tenth.

“Black-ish” (1.6) and “Criminal Minds” (1.3) were the only shows to improve on last week’s ratings, each rising by 0.1. “Speechless” matched last week’s preliminary 1.5 (it adjusted up in the finals), and everything else is even with last week’s final numbers.

Network averages:

ABC FOX NBC CBS CW
Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.5/5 1.3/5 1.1/4 1.0/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.12 5.05 5.43 5.42 1.27

 

Late night metered-market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.3/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.5/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/2, 1.7/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.3/5

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.0/3

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

Definitions:

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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